Pandals this year are embracing unique and thought-provoking themes, inspired by current events, social issues, or environmental concerns. Expect to witness pandals that tell stories beyond mythology, incorporating global and local narratives.
Durga Puja pandals, known for their grandeur and creativity, draw crowds from far and wide. In 2023, these pandals are not just spaces for religious reverence but also showcases of contemporary trends, blending tradition with innovation.
Food is an integral part of any celebration. Pandals also turn into gastronomic delights, with food stalls offering a diverse range of culinary delights. From traditional Bengali sweets to international cuisines, the food at pandals is sure to be a treat for the taste-buds with a wide range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian snacks and main course meals.
Food stalls are open inside the pandals till midnight and in the case of CR Park, they are open round the clock during those five days of celebrations.
Here are some of the most popular pandals in the Capital:
Chittaranjan Park: As the auspicious festival of Durga Puja approaches, the excitement in the air is palpable at CR Park, an upscale Bengali neighbourhood in south Delhi. The area has already transformed into a canvas of vibrant colours and artistic brilliance. Fairs, food stalls and local vendors can be seen alluring children with their visually appealing balloons, toys and candies.
CR Park hosts three big Durga Puja pandals — the Cooperative, B Block and Mela Ground.
At the Cooperative ground, Bihar’s Chamunda Sthan Pachahi Mandir is coming up as hundreds of labourers work round the clock to bring finesse to the pandal. Here, the idol is being sculpted inside the pandal itself.
The Mela Ground beside market number 2 is turning into a North Kolkata Raj Bari to give visitors a traditional palatial experience.
Few lanes away is the B Block Durga Puja Ground, which will see the New Parliament House building as the abode of the Goddess.
Meanwhile, the Kali Mandir will celebrate 50 years of Durga Puja festivities and depict the journey through its pandals and shows.
Milani, Mayur Vihar: Inspired by the brilliant architecture of the 1656 terracotta temple in Bishnupur, the tiles from Bankura district have arrived and will be used to bring out the essence of traditional Bengal.
The entrance door is designed in imitation of the architecture of the Bishnupur temple. Inside the pandal, there will be the terracotta work of rural Bengal. The tiles used in making this terracotta are brought from the Panchmura village, Bishnupur.
“As every year, this time as well, the Milani Durga Puja in Mayur Vihar will captivate the audience with its attractive pandal,” said Mrinal Bishwas, head of the committee.
Matri Mandir, Safdarjung: Another hotspot for Durga Puja revellers and pandal enthusiasts, Matri Mandir this year will showcase Disneyland.
“It’s Disneyland because of the tagline — The happiest place on Earth — and this festival resonates with that spirit,” said Anindo Ghosh, a member of the committee.
Dakshinayan, Dwarka: Located in Sector 4, the Dakshinayan Apartments is a prominent Bengali society in Dwarka where Durga Puja is celebrated with great fervour and gaiety.
This year, the committee members have kept the residents guessing about the theme of the pandal. However, they have been requested to donate Bengal handloom sarees so the idea seemingly will be around the cotton industry in West Bengal.
While all the pandals are still work-in-progress right now, they will be open in their full form to take in visitors from October 19.